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Obituary: Imogen Bain

The daughter of actor Jessie Evans and director Donald Bain, Imogen Bain overcame childhood dyslexia to follow them on to stage, television and film.

As a child actor, she played Leonard Rossiter’s daughter in Peter Everett’s The Baby’s Name Being Kitchener for the BBC’s Thirty-Minute Theatre in 1973.

After studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bain made her professional debut in Sheila Hancock’s 1981 revival of Otway’s The Soldier’s Fortune for the Cambridge Theatre Company.

The following year, she appeared in Once a Catholic at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, and in 1984 made her West End debut in Daisy Pulls It Off at the Globe Theatre. In 1986, she returned to the West End in Blithe Spirit at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Bain’s National Theatre appearances included Richard Eyre’s 1992 revival of The Night of the Iguana and opposite Judi Dench in Sam Mendes’ production of Edward Bond’s The Sea (1991). At the Almeida Theatre, Bain shared the stage with Alan Bates in Thomas Bernhard’s The Showman in 1993. More recently, she appeared in West Yorkshire Playhouse’s 2006 revival of Hedda Gabler.

Her film career began in the gritty 1982 drama Scrubbers. Other notable appearances included Hollywood blockbusters Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves (1991), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), and Steven Berkoff’s 1994 adaptation of Decadence.

Bain’s television roles ranged from Casualty, The Bill, New Tricks, Waking the Dead and Doctors to Little Dorrit, Little Britain, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Ripper Street.

Together with Andrea Brooks, she formed the Good Luck Company in 1984 and produced a series of lunchtime theatre performances that included Pinter’s The Lover, Sartre’s Huis Clos and a one-man show by Ian Puleston-Davies. In her own one-woman show, Happy Hour (written by Nicholas Reader), she played three characters. In recent years, Bain gave classes at the Actors Centre.

Imogen Bain was born in London on April 17, 1959. She died, aged 55, on July 5. She is survived by her husband, the actor Simon Holmes.

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